On Lingering

I woke up this morning thinking about the word Lingering.
My simple and crude definition is this- “ To hang around.” It could be you staying in place for too long; it could be thoughts in your mind that seem to be hanging around.

Stuck is different than Lingering. Stuck and Lingering are cousins.
I do think that stuck, and Lingering are offering us a choice.

Leave or Stay.

If you leave, ask yourself if you are looking for someone or something to fulfill you or a place to contribute?

If you decide to stay, ask yourself, how can your lingering turn to contribution?
Lingering is different than resting.

Resting acknowledges that you will be back; you need to recharge, then you will come back and continue to be useful.

We should be aware of what we are allowing to linger in our lives and in our minds.
I am mindful of my mornings now.

I wake up, meditate, read scripture, then I write and post to my blog.
My soul needs a chance to wake up, to recharge, to come to full strength.

I stopped allowing the news, social media, text messages to be the first bits of information to access my innermost self.

Why? This is why. Those posts, messages, arguments, concerns, exaggerated statements, conflicts that are not mine linger.

Lingering in my mind for far too long. Taking up space without purpose.
So I had to stop.

It began by looking around and seeing what was lingering.

 

 

Allow the journey to unfold.

The meditation I did this morning gave me a good question to reflect on.
It asked, are we holding on to an outcome for the future, or are we letting the journey unfold before us?

The truth is that the journey is going to unfold before us, it does’t matter if  we like it or not.  Goals have outcomes in the future, for example, getting a degree, finishing a book, getting healthy. These require time and effort in the present, day by day, to accomplish. Goals don’t happen overnight. We don’t have access to magic genies or elves who come while we are asleep to finish our work.

The emotional wave of energy that comes when you set a goal soon disappears.
The encouragement from friends and supporters, it lasts only for a short time.
To secure the outcomes you desire, you have to make the daily decision to leave the inside of your head and trust your hands to write to finish the book. Your feet to move, exercise, and mind to coordinate the specific steps needed to take to navigate the course work you need to complete for your degree.

The crucial work, the daily work, is often done alone. Often without applauds, and the roar of the clouds or the emotional rush of the like, or the comment on a post.
This is what it means to allow the journey to unfold.

Daily work. Step by Step. The outcome is down the road. That should not discourage you. Guess what? Some people are ahead of you, people behind you, and people who haven’t even started yet.

In this moment, avoid the desire to criticize yourself, your effort, your goals. Make adjustments to your plans yes, but leave the exaggerated statements alone. Just start again. Set the timer for 15 minutes and write. Pick aa time period to work up, set a timer and workout. Devote time each day to studying.

You can cheer them on. You can hope for them to be successful. Guess what. There is a space for you too. For me. Especially for me. I just need to keep walking. So do you.

In all Circumstances

the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is important to draw a distinction between giving thanks in the circumstances and not for the circumstances;

Here is an example, I think of one of the worst experiences in my life. I was not thankful for the experience. It was painful, devastating, it hurt, and the hurt still lingers after 15 years; in fact, the hurt will always linger. I am not thankful for that event.

To me, giving thanks in all circumstances means that while I was going through that experience, I could look around, and discover many wonderful things to be thankful for.

Examples include the friends who called and supported us, thankful for the phone calls, text messages, and gifts. This is what thankful in all circumstances means to me. I am not thankful for the circumstances, but I can look for support to help me make it through the circumstances. To help to mourn, grieve, and heal.

In his book, Man’s search for meaning, Victor Frankel,  while in a Nazi Concentration camp, stated that he would not give ownership of his mind to the Germans who held him captive.

There is a lesson in that for us today. Each one of us faces challenging and difficult situations in our day-to-day. Thanks to our phones, TVs, car radios, computers, other people, we are bombarded daily with difficult circumstances.

The author John Eldridge says that our souls aren’t meant to move at the pace of a cell phone. Look around, take some time today, be thankful for one thing outside of your current circumstances. Pause, take in a deep breath, then list five things that you have. Then move forward.

What is important?

Determine what actions are important to yourself each day.
Once you have done that.

Proceed to give your labor towards those tasks.
One by one.

Minute by Minute.
Second by Second.

Keep yourself motivated and driven by your internal energy.
It is possible.

Possible to develop your own vision.
Your own convictions.

But then there is the noise.
What is your noise?

What gets in the way of participating in activities that are beneficial to you and helpful to others?

Is it social media? I fall into that trap.
I will read something that someone wrote and get upset.
Eliminate it.

The pursuit of joy is hard.
It is worth it.

Then ask yourself this question.
Is my spirit getting mature?

A mature spirit produces mature actions.
A spirit traveling to joy produces service.

A joyful spirit may not appear first thing in the morning.
A joyful spirit may not even surface during the day.

But it is worth pursuing.
Ask yourself once again.

What am I pursuing?
What am I doing?

 

Confrontation

When I look around at the new streams online and hear the commentators on TV beaming pictures of disasters and calamities daily, the world seems scary.

Dread, I can feel it in my stomach. It sits there like a brick. A brick that doesn’t move.
Out of that brick comes negative thoughts. Something bad is going to happen to me. Something bad will happen to someone I love.

Over and Over, and it continues until I believe that it is certain to happen. A sure thing.

It feels real. I get scared. Afraid. Worried. I want to make plans. To avoid it.

The truth is. It is not real.

The feelings are real.
Sadness. Anger. Worry.

The thoughts are generated by me.
If this is true. Then we have a chance.

A chance to generate different thoughts.
A chance to sit with the feelings and ask them, what is your purpose?

Why are you here?

Why are you present?
It could be to heal from past hurts.

I listen to my feelings, and I change my thoughts.
The rock begins to weigh less and less.

The circumstances on the outside may or may not change.
The solutions to the problems might come.
Or they might not.

I believe that we will have the strength to face what comes our way when we take the time to cultivate our inner spirit and activate that which is good inside us.

Show up

Set the timer for 10 minutes, and start to write.
That is how I have written 135 posts this year.
My goal is to write and post every day during 2021.
That is how I do it.
Set the timer for 10 minutes.
Write.
Edit the post in Grammarly.
Post to WordPress.
Hit submit.
Done.
On to the next day.
That is the goal.
The goal is to post every day for one year.
I am not getting wealthy.
I don’t have a lot of readers.
I show up and write.
That is what you do if you want to accomplish your goal.
Write down your goal.
Develop a process.
Show up each day.
One day at a time.
Until the job is done.
Even when I am tired.
Even when I am sad.
Even when I am angry.
I show up, and I write.
That is what a writer does.
The writer writes.
It not just for a writer.
What are you trying to accomplish?
Show up each day.

At bat.

At a baseball game or softball game, there are several places where you can be. If you are there to watch, you sit in the stands. If you are playing or coaching in the game, you are on the field or in the dugout.

The umpires are on the field calling balls and strikes, the vendors are selling concessions. The groundskeepers are taking care of the grass; there are people in charge of taking tickets.

I could go on and on; the point is that many people are present at a professional baseball game to make sure the viewing experience you have is a good one.
If you are a player and you are at-bat, you have two options when a pitch is thrown to you.

You can swing, and your hope is that you make contact, and when you make contact, the ball will go where the other players aren’t. If you wait and watch a pitch go by, you hope it is out of the strike zone.

If that happens four times, you get to advance to a base. If there are three strikes, you are out, and you go back to the bench.

Hopefully, you get to do it again. The chances of you getting to do it again are high.
The pitcher is not trying to help you hit the ball into play, except at batting practice.
At batting practice, the pitcher is throwing pitches to you, so you can hit them.
The point I am attempting to make today is this. We get to do it again. We get to do our jobs again. We get to do the day again. We can be thankful that we can go it again.

Look at your day like you are at-bat. You get to swing. You get to watch the ball go by.

Enjoy getting to play in the game. Connect with why you are up to bat. You are at-bat because the hope is that you will get a hit.

You are a pro.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the game tied or with the team behind. They want you to get a hit. That is your job. To get a hit.

So go out today and get a hit. Get on base. Win the game. But remember this, if you strike out if you ground out, if you fly out.

Keep playing. You will get another chance.

We get to.

What do you get to do each day?

You get to wake up, go to work, see friends, see family.

Talk to others, use a phone, use a computer.

Meet new people.

Look for a job.

Work a job.

Study.

Watch.

Laugh.

Cry.

Plan

Think.

Fight.

Create.

Destroy.

Listen

Learn.

Is this list to small or too big?

These are just some of the things that I guess that people get to do each day.

We also get to follow our curiosity.

We get to help.

Life getting in the way.

I heard someone say to me this morning.
Life is getting in the way.
I responded that I felt the same way.

At the current moment, life is getting in the way.
But as I thought about it deeper, what is life getting in the way of?

I think for me, life is getting in the way of joy and happiness.
There is plenty of room for fear, sadness, and anger.

The first alert on my phone reminds me of how scary the world is.
The emails are attempting to sell me something that I probably already have in abundance, but what is one more?

I imagine what does, in the way, look like?
I imagine driving and a traffic jam ensures.

The traffic is blocking my way.
The truth is that the traffic, the jams, the blocks, life getting in the way.

Life is getting in the way.
Could it be that life is slowing me down?

Does life know that I am sad, angry, and scared?

It could, in the way, mean to be like a train that is pulling into a station, slowing down long enough to pick up new passengers.

What if those new passengers were joy and happiness?